Doctor Digital, is YouTube even viable to monetise in 2020, I’ve been watching some crazy claims from content creators?
Doctor Digital Says
There was a ruckus from the ranks of YouTube influencers in 2019 as in some cases their very lucrative YouTube channels almost overnight lost all of their visibility. Why would YouTube be looking to downgrade some of their high performers you may ask? And the answer is complex. It does, however, have to do with algorithms and free speech vs what’s appropriate in the eyes of the YouTube (read Google) overlords and the evolution of the channel from cat videos and bloopers to a regulated, monetized entertainment machine.
The influencer world on every channel is disruptive new territory. While social media created influencers, influencers created a marketing segment that is booming and definitely here to stay, but is also built on sand in relation to complete reliance on the channel. Take Facebook/Instagram, social media channels that change their algorithm more than they change their metaphoric underpants. At a whim, a whole influencers reach can be obliterated.
When YouTubers and their channels emerged as a place where some serious influencing could be done, YouTube had a way to capture monetisation in place, but perhaps had underestimated exactly how massive the video sharing service would become and how controversial (and offensive) some of its content would be. As the platform evolved, it was reigned in through filtering of content and demonetization of channels that ignored the content guideline. It became less wild west, and more closely representing the kind of content streaming services were creating with broad appeal.
Creators who had been on the platform for a while have decried the situation as favouring more conservative content, tightly managed by the parent company algorithm that sits behind it. The reality is all social platforms have evolved from gathering up all the early adopters and letting them create the community, to focusing on their revenue and value propositions.
Should your business have a YouTube channel? The answer is as always, does video fit into your business model, does it offer your customers value, and is YouTube a place where you can build your brand and convert that to sales. If yes, then read on for tips on how to optimise your presence against their (current) algorithm.
To rank on YouTube, the first thing to consider is optimizing your videos and channel for popular search queries. To do this, place relevant keywords in your videos’ titles, tags, descriptions, SRT files (which are transcriptions), video files, and thumbnail files.
You should also check out the most popular queries guiding viewers to your videos, which you can find in YouTube’s Search Report. If these queries are slightly different than your video’s topic, consider updating your video to fill these content gaps and add the keywords to your metadata. If there’s a stark difference, consider making new videos about these popular queries.
The next thing to consider when ranking on YouTube is optimizing your videos and channel for engagement. To generate engagement, though, you first need to attract users’ attention. And one of the best ways to instantly grab users’ attention is by creating vibrant thumbnails for each of your videos.
Of course having compelling content is important, and that means less about polished production and more about being authentic, open and entertaining and serving your customers video content that is worth the time they take to watch it. Regular uploads and promotion via your social and websites will be required to get the needed eyeballs on your work, and building your ranking. YouTube may be agile in their algorithms, but you need to play along and work with the channel to get the best out of what it can offer. Check out this free guide from Hubspot here if you want to dive deeper into YouTube for your business.